An excerpt from Screwtape proposes a toast, by C. S. Lewis (without a doubt my favorite author)
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and godesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteressting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as now meet, if at all only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities it is with awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations-these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously-no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner-no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriement. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ, vere lavitat- the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself- is truly hidden."
As I do with all his writings I am humbled, convicted, and challenged. The first challenge for me is attmepting to truly grasp that we are all immortal. Some with heavenly immortaity and some with horrific. I immediately set about thinking of who will go where. It is so easy to imagine my children as heaven bound, and the worst criminal as hell bound, but then looking at the "ordinary person...well that is different. Then I am painfully aware that I am among those that are difficult to discern, and though my children are blessed and beautiful their fate is their own to decide. yikes. I could meditate on that all day long.
I impact the path of everyone I come in contact with? I nudge them along, or shove them along. I